Most orchids, including the Phalaenopsis orchid, will experience the growth of new leaves during the summer months. Spikes and flower buds will appear in late fall and soon after it will bloom. It will continue to bloom until spring. The blooming season usually ends around mid-February.
Move your orchid to a cooler area where the temperatures are between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your orchid in indirect sunlight at all times. Do this until a new flower spike emerges. Once a flower spike has emerged, give it a couple months for the plant to reach about 5”.
Like all plants, orchids require sufficient light in order to produce flowers. Insufficient light is the most common cause of failure to re- bloom your orchid. A grassy green color (light or medium green with yellowish tones) means the plant is receiving sufficient light to bloom.
You’ll go crazy waiting 14 weeks for the whole spike to form before the first flower even opens. That is, IF a spike forms. A short term fix is to buy more orchids.
Orchids generally need to be repotted once a year. The best time to repot is just after flowering, or when new growth appears. You’ll know it’s time to repot if any of these reasons apply to you: Your orchid has tightly tangled roots.
Choose a fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (look for 20-20-20 on the label). Fertilizer should be used at half-strength, mixing it with an equal amount of water before applying it to your orchid.
With proper care, most orchids can live around 20 to 22 years. But as time passes by, the foliage starts to become weak and produce lesser blooms. You also have to keep the orchid free from pests and disease; otherwise, that may result in the premature death of orchid.
However, of all the orchid species only Phalaenopsis will grow shoots off the same stem when the stem is cut above a nod or eye. This does happen, but after you cut the stem all the way back the plant should produce another shoot from its base. Be patient, as it can take several months to see this new growth.
While each growing environment is unique, and watering habits vary from person to person, it is generally a good idea to water about once per 7-10 days, when the mix gets dry. Too much watering leads to root rot, crown rot and other over watering problems like fungus gnat infestations.
Fertilize once the last bloom has fallen off your orchid. You don’t need to water on the weeks you fertilize. You can fertilize your orchid while it’s in bloom, but it’s really not necessary. Performing this step during the resting phase helps give your orchid extra nutrients for reblooming.
Coffee grounds are an excellent organic fertilizer, especially for orchids and African violets. Old diluted coffee can be substituted for the compost tea in the Garrett Juice formula.